A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this action adventure game is associated with the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and, peripherally, the children’s book upon which the film is based. It features frequent but mild cartoon violence. Players use gadgets like a heat ray gun to melt pesky snowmen, a spring-loaded boxing glove to punch hamburgers, and a cheese slicer to dice up aggressive gummy bears, all while avoiding environmental perils such as pools of hot chili and falling steaks. The player’s character turns red and falls down when he takes damage.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Based on the movie of the same name (which, in turn, is based on a popular kids book), CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS is an action adventure game for children that has players dealing with the repercussions of an invention that makes enormous food fall from the sky. Armed with a diverse array of gadgets, including the Hot Enougher (a heat ray gun), the Bigacious Pow (a spring-loaded boxing glove), and the Chopper-er (a big cheese slicer), players take on enemies such as snow men and gummy bears as they dash through food cluttered environments. They’ll also need to clean up some of the massive chow littering the city by, say, mashing raviolis to bits with the Forkamajigger (a big fork) and using the Upsucker Plus (a big vacuum) to spray coffee on sugar cubes and melt them. Two players are accommodated via a jump-in co-op mode.
Is it any good?
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ unique plot clearly provided the game’s developers with plenty of fodder for interesting play scenarios, and they’ve done a decent job turning them into a fun interactive experience that’s accessible to the film’s target audience. Players get to use the huge food in innovative ways, such as zipping up strings of spaghetti, employing jelly cakes as trampolines, and climbing up walls coated in sticky honey. And upgrading gadgets by searching out and destroying foodpods (giant strawberries, balls of ice cream, and cheese puffs), which are often hidden in clever places just off screen, is surprisingly compelling.
The game spends little time developing our nerdy, likeable hero, who may have had a valuable lesson to teach kids about taking responsibility for one’s actions had the story been fleshed out a little more. Also, the game’s 20 or so missions begin to feel a bit repetitive midway through, but it’s doubtful most kids will even notice, what with all of the fun food shenanigans.
Online interaction: Not an issue.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ambition. Is it important for you to try to make a mark on the world? Would you be satisfied living a normal, relatively quiet life? What do you think you’d like to do to make yourself known? Have you considered that, regardless of your accomplishments, there would likely be those who disapproved and openly criticized you? How do you think you'd respond to living in the limelight?
What made you choose this game? Was it because you had read the book or seen the movie? Did the game live up to your expectations? Do you think it is good to make games based on other media?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PSP, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: September 18, 2009
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.